Garlic cultivation

Garlic cultivation: irrigation

Garlic cultivation: a pleasant pastime that can be practiced successfully and with excellent and useful results. To grow garlic you need to choose a fairly bright and sunny place. The plant resists the cold, but being a bulb, it is very afraid of rot and stagnation of water. In practice, garlic doesn’t require a lot of irrigation. It should be sown in winter and rainfall is generally sufficient to maintain the right level of humidity. During the summer it may be necessary to provide some watering when the soil dries out too much, but when the leaves begin to dry out, watering should be suspended completely to allow the bulb to prepare. When almost the whole plant is dry and bent, the garlic must be uprooted, keeping the bulb attached to the leaves. The plants with the bulb should therefore be hung in a cool and ventilated outdoor place, until all the leaves are completely dry. At this point they intertwine and hang, always outside, sheltered from the elements and in the cool. In the right climate, they keep for many months.

Garlic cultivation and care

An unpretentious bulb, the cultivation of garlic does not require too much attention. It prefers temperate climates, but is able to withstand both cold and periods of drought. Equally well it adapts to cultivation in pots, in the garden or in the vegetable garden. For the garlic bulb you need a loose and well-drained soil, without stagnation of water, and a nice bright location. The garlic is sown by separating the bulbils, which are generally about ten for each bulb, and burying them at a depth of about 6 – 8 cm. If they are buried in the garden and in rows, they should be spaced about 10 cm apart. There are many varieties of garlic and some of them are easier to bloom; in these cases, the stems that carry the flower must be cut, in order to allow the bulb to develop well. At the end of the summer it is left to dry out and uprooted. L’ garlic has been cultivated since ancient times for the numerous healing properties it contains. The benefits on the cardiovascular system and on cholesterol, the restorative and purifying action have also been proven and recognized by recent studies.

How and when to fertilize garlic

The few claims of garlic for its cultivation are also found in the fertilization phase. Garlic does not need to be periodically and regularly fertilized, if at the time of sowing a soil that is already fertile is used. This plant does not like organic fertilizers, which could lead to rotting of the root part. It is therefore advisable to fertilize with organic fertilizer before starting the cultivation of garlic. Phosphorus and potassium must be in the soil before sowing, while nitrogen can be given a couple of times during cultivation. It would be preferable for it to be used in the form of ammonium sulphate. The single bulb, which will give life to the new plant, contains in itself the nourishment necessary for its development; for this reason, the larger the clover that is sown,

Exposure, diseases and possible remedies

Bright exposure and a few hours of sunshine are enough for the garlic plant to grow and swell. Regarding pests, garlic cultivation is not easily prone to pest attacks. To avoid them, it is usually sufficient not to grow the garlic in the same place or in the same soil for two consecutive years, but to let at least three years pass, before repeating the cultivation in the same place. The parasites that could infest it are the fly and the moth. The fly larvae devour the bulb causing rot, while the moth eats the leaves so consistently that it can determine their death. Both of these parasites are fought by treating young plants with rock dust or lithotamnum. Cultivation associated with carrots is also useful. If the infestation is very strong, the attacked plants must be eliminated. On the other hand, garlic is used very often to help in the fight against parasites of other plants; for this purpose it is planted near vegetables and flowers, from which it keeps away aphids and other harmful insects. It is also used in concentrated infusions to be sprayed on the leaves.

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